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Are the courts getting it right?: Just 3 per cent of sentences successfully appealed

A study by the Sentencing Advisory Council has found just three per cent sentences handed down in the County and Supreme Courts are successfully appealed.

In 2013-14 just over 1900 sentences were handed down, of those 230 were appealed, most of them by the offender, and of those only 60 were successful.

The offender won some relief on appeal in 44 cases and the Crown got a sentence increased in 16 cases.

Neil Mitchell asked Sentencing Advisory Council Chair Professor Arie Freiburg, if 97 per cent of sentences are not challenged, does that mean the courts are getting it right?

“If you base it on the appeals by the Crown against inadequate sentences and by the offenders against excessive sentences this study which looked at sentences imposed in 2013 and 14,” Professor Freiburg said.

“In fact only 3 per cent were actually changed.

“If that’s a benchmark of whether the courts are getting it right, which is a different question to whether the public thinks they’re getting it right, then they’re doing a pretty good job.”

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